Trip Report - Connor O'Brien

Connor O'Brien, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound defensive athlete from Santa Margarita, Calif. officially visited Washington the past couple of days with high school teammate Dane Crane - also committed to the Huskies. The 48-hour visit just reinforced O'Brien's earlier decision that being a Husky is what he wants for college.

"I've never been happier with my decision," O'Brien told Saturday night. "I can envision myself playing there and I'm very happy with my decision."

O'Brien got into Seattle late Wednesday night, but come the following morning the Huskies had a full slate of things planned for him, Crane and the other official visitors. "Thursday morning was awesome," O'Brien said. "I met up with the coaches for breakfast and met with the coaches and the players and just got to get to know them and went from there."

That night was one of the big reasons O'Brien chose this time to take his official visit to UW - a nationally-televised game versus No. 8 Stanford. The Huskies came out victorious, due in large part to a fantastic defensive effort. O'Brien was in raptures the whole game.

"I'm sure you saw the game - it was incredible," he said. "There was just this feeling of being there and knowing that I'll be there next year…just everything about it was awesome - the fans, the stadium. I know we're getting a new stadium next year, but it was great. I was watching the position where coach (Peter) Sirmon told me I would be playing next year - where Shaq Thompson is playing right now. So I was watching him, but I was also watching everyone and I was imagining being out there and it was giving me goosebumps just thinking about it."'s Greg Biggins had this to say about O'Brien and his style of play: "O'Brien is a headhunter and one of the biggest hitters in the state. He loves contact and is one of those players you love to have on your team, but hate to play against. He plays through the whistle and if you're standing anywhere around the pile, you're going to get hit, even if you're not part of the play."

"I saw that," O'Brien said with a chuckle when asked about Biggins' evaluation, especially about his demeanor. "I know there's a lot of great players in California so I'm honored he said that about me. But there are a lot of good players."

Is he meaner than Crane? "He's a mean guy, so he might have that one," O'Brien added, laughing.

Erik Kohler, Mike Criste and Cory Littleton were some of the players that hosted O'Brien at different points during his visit, and it was during conversations with the current Huskies were he got their appreciation for the UW coaching staff. "I asked them about it and they said it was awesome - they love all the coaches," he said. "They said coach (Steve) Sarkisian is awesome and they get their work done. It paid off obviously during the night."

And his talks with Coach Sark and the rest of the Huskies staff? "It was great," O'Brien said. "I talked to all of them and they had good things to say. That's why I chose Washington - they are great guys and great coaches and I look forward to playing for them."

O'Brien was asked if he learned anything new about UW, the football program or the educational experience he expects to have next year at Montlake. "I took a trip up there before, so not really," he said. "I know that they are getting a new stadium and I went over the academics with a counselor and they had all that other information in there."

So in the end, will O'Brien take any more official visits? "No, I'm not," he said without hesitation. "I'm fully committed to Washington. That's the school I want to play at and that's the team I want to be on."

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